Hiking the Dix Range Pt 1 – Adirondacks 3 Day Backpacking Trip | Hammock Camping

Join Sara and I for 3 days of Hiking & Hammock Camping on a Backpacking Trip in the Adirondack’s Dix Mountain Wilderness.

For this backpacking adventure, I’ll be breaking the hiking trip into two parts. Part 1 covers our hike in to camp, setting up our base camp with our two person hammock camping system, and some campfire chat while we make a campfire, do camp chores, and cook some backpacking food.

Hiking the Dix Range Part 2 will be comprised of mostly hiking and summits, as we ascend from camp up onto the Dix Range to hit the Beckhorn (a subsidiary peak of Dix Mountain) and the summit of Dix Mountain itself.

GPS Data for this trip will be released with part 2.

Trailhead and Parking Location

Elk Lake Trailhead Parking Lot, 675 Elk Lake Rd, North Hudson, NY 12855
44°01’15.0″N 73°49’40.9″W

Topics discussed and things that happen in this episode

  • Base camping with a ton of camping gear vs ultralight backpacking.
  • Finding & legal camping spots in the Adirondacks.
  • Pros and cons of using a bear canister. These are not legally required in the Dix Mountain Wilderness, but we had one anyway, for reasons discussed in the video.
  • Hammock camping with our dog, Denali.
  • Outfitting our Dutchware Chameleon Hammocks with the Double Dutch Bugnet system.
  • Hammock under quilt attachment using of Chameleon hammock’s underquilt hooks.
  • A look at the MalloMe Camping Cookware Set for backpacking food preparation.
  • Building a campfire and cooking some of of favorite backpacking appetizers and dinners.
  • Sara reviews a flashlight…

Trails Used Day 1

  • Parked at Elk Lake Trailhead Parking Lot.  This is a decent sized lot along a gravel road on the way to the Elk Lake Lodge.  If the lot is full, you may park for free at the Elk Lake Lodge, a bit further up the road.
  • Elk Lake to Dix Mountain Trail
  • Pass the Slide Brook Lean-to . The Slide Brook LT and camping area makes for a popular base camp for hikers hitting the Dix Range. We chose to push on a bit (under 2 miles) to the lesser used Lillian Brook lean-to area, which as some nice, legal campsites that are a bit more secluded.
  • Pass the sign for Lillian Brook LT and continue a bit further.
  • Setup camp along the Elk Lake Trail, after the Lillian Brook LT and just before the large bridge crossing Lillian Brook.  As of 9/14/17, this site had a yellow “Camp Here” disc, designating it a fully legal spot, despite it’s proximity to a small stream nearby. The stream is probably a convenient water source when flowing good, but we opted to get our water a 100 meters or so down the trail by the Lilian Brook bridge.

Dix Range Adirondacks Day 1 Elevation Profile – Sintax77

Day 1 Total Mileage:  4 miles
Day 1 Gross Elevation Gain: 633 feet
Day 1 Gross Elevation Loss:  339 feet

Notable Camping / Backpacking Gear Seen on this Video

Our Dog’s Backpacking Gear

Backpacking Food

Stay tuned for Hiking the Dix Range Part Two where we depart camp and head for ridge.

Winter Hammock Camping in the Adirondacks

Three days of Winter Hammock Camping and backpacking in the Adirondacks High Peaks Region.

GPS track data for the full trip was recorded using my new Garmin 650 gps unit, and can be found on the Trip Data page, for download in GPX format. (All photos in this post are geo-tagged as well)

Parking Location: At the end of Upperworks Road 44°05’20.6″N 74°03’22.7″W

The Upperworks Trailhead Parking Area

The Upperworks Trailhead Parking Area


Trails Used in Order:

Day 1 (Hike In)

  • Begin at Upperworks Trailhead
  • Calamity Brook Trail
  • Cross frozen Lake Colden towards the Ranger Station
  • (If lake is not frozen, the Algonquin Peak Trail can be taken instead)
  • Take Avalanche Pass Trail to visit Avalanche Lake
  • Reverse course on Avalanche Pass Trail back towards Lake Colden
  • Camp near intersection of Ranger Station Spur Trail and Cold Brook Trail
    Campsite coordinates N44 07.494 W73 58.912
    Mileage Total: 9.16 miles

    Elevation-Winter-ADK-Day-1

    Elevation Profile for Day 1

Trail Junction near Campsite that was chosen.

Trail Junction near Campsite that was chosen.

Day 2 (Above Treeline Excursion)

  • Avalanche Pass Trail
  • Algonquin Trail via Lake Colden
  • Enjoy the views (or summit fog) and head back down towards campsite
    Mileage Total: 4.16 miles

    Elevation Profile for Day 2

    Elevation Profile for Day 2 (Ouch)

Day 3 (Hike Out)

  • Head out across frozen Lake Colden back towards car
  • Calamity Brook Trail
  • End back at Upperworks Trailhead
    Mileage Total: 6.38 miles

    Elevation Profile for Day 3

    Elevation Profile for Day 3

    Returning to the Upperworks Parking area, via Calamity Brook Trail

    Returning to the Upperworks Parking area, via Calamity Brook Trail

    Mileage & Elevation Profile for Full 3 Day Trip

    Mileage & Elevation Profile for Full 3 Day Trip

For a look at my winter gear, check out my Winter Gear List Video. Notable changes: Hammock instead of Kelty Salida 2 Tent, MSR Rapidfire Stove instead of generic upright canister stove, and I picked up another pair of fleece lined hiking pants as an alternative to the backup sleeping pants I used to pack.

 All video content, photos and music are original works by myself, Sintax77.